President Donald Trump announced from the White House on Monday evening that he’s looking at a potential payroll tax cut to help offset any damage and impact the coronavirus outbreak has had upon the American economy and stock market.
Speaking from the White House press briefing room the same day the Dow Jones experienced a record drop amid concerns that the growing coronavirus pandemic will result in a worldwide economic slowdown, the president said that he’d be speaking with Congress on Tuesday about some “dramatic” measures to stimulate the economy.
Noting that the virus outbreak is something that “everybody is talking about all over the world,” Trump went on to say that he’d be meeting with House Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss a “possible payroll tax cut or relief,” which he added would be “substantial” and a “big number.”
The president additionally stated that they would also be talking about a plan that would allow hourly wage earners to get help.
“Whether it be working with small companies, large companies, a lot of companies so that they don’t get penalized for something that’s not their fault,” he added. “It’s not their fault, it’s not our country’s fault. This was something that we were thrown into and we’re going to handle it and we have been handling it very well.”
Trump went on to announce a few more potential proposals, such as the Small Business Administration offering up more loans to small businesses and additional assistance to a couple of industries that have been negatively impacted by the outbreak.
“We’re also working with the industries including the airline industry, the cruise ship industry which obviously will be hit,” Trump declared. “We’re working with them very, very strongly. We want them to travel. We want people to travel to certain locations and not to other locations at this moment.”
“Hopefully that will straighten out sooner rather than later, but we’re working with the industries and in particular those two industries,” he continued. “We’re also talking to the hotel industry and some places actually will do well and some places probably won’t do well at all but we’re working also with the hotel industry.”
The president handed off the rest of the presser to Vice President Mike Pence, who he has tapped to be the point person on the administration’s coronavirus task force. After touting his potential tax cuts one more time, the president left without taking any questions, ignoring several reporters, who asked if he had been tested yet for the virus while noting that Trump has been in contact with people who’ve been in the proximity of someone who was infected.
Later in the briefing, Pence would not say whether the president had been tested, but did reveal that he himself had not. “I have not been tested for the coronavirus,” Pence admitted.